Virtualization Technology News and Information
mindSHIFT Launches NextDesktop, the First Affordable Windows Desktop Solution for Small and Medium-Sized Businesses

mindSHIFT Technologies, an industry leader in delivering managed IT services to businesses, today launched NextDesktop, an online service that provides small and mid-sized businesses (SMBs) with the first affordable hosted Windows desktop solution.

With prices starting at $39.99 per user per month -- vs. more than $100 per user per month for competing hosted desktop solutions -- NextDesktop extends mindSHIFT’s managed desktop line to provide a basic Windows desktop to budget-conscious organizations that don’t require the comprehensive 24-hour hardware, server, network, Help Desk and file restoration support of mindSHIFT’s fully-managed desktop solutions.

The NextDesktop hosted service provides an affordable option for budget-conscious organizations, especially:

  • Start-ups
  • SMBs needing to replace out-of-warranty PCs and laptops
  • SMBs adding new employees or new offices
  • SMBs with employees who do not use graphics or multimedia-intensive applications

“With the launch of NextDesktop, mindSHIFT is removing the costly and burdensome tasks of desktop management for small and medium-sized businesses that until now have been beyond their reach,” said Ravi Agarwal, senior executive officer of technology innovation at mindSHIFT. “Hosted desktops were once thought to be the domain of large enterprises. But that’s changing with our new hosted Windows desktop – a cheaper, better, faster solution to SMBs’ PC challenges.”

“Small and medium-sized organizations want lower cost computing capabilities, but they don’t want to sacrifice security, performance or reliability. NextDesktop’s hosted desktop service meets these requirements and provides a viable alternative to deploying traditional PCs,” said Jeffrey M. Kaplan, Managing Director of THINKstrategies and an industry expert on Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), cloud computing and managed services.

Compared to traditional PCs and other hosted desktops, NextDesktop offers a more cost-effective and worry-free alternative to effectively address SMB IT needs:

  1. Lower operational and capital expenditure costs, with the lowest price in the market and the ability to either utilize existing hardware or purchase less expensive thin client devices.
  2. Reduced IT burden, eliminating the need to upgrade PCs and offloading administrative IT tasks, such as security, data backup, anti-virus and other patches, Help Desk services and software upgrades.
  3. Better security, with real-time anti-virus and anti-spyware updates, ongoing Microsoft patches, and storage and backup of all of a business's Windows desktop data, documents and applications inNextDesktop’s secure data center.

Because the data and applications are stored, or "hosted" in the secure data center, employees can access their desktop data and applications from any location using any PC, laptop, thin client or smartphone – as long as they have an Internet connection on their device.

In addition, NextDesktop offers online provisioning, based on mindSHIFT’s proprietary technology, allowing businesses to add and remove users within seconds, compared with hours or days required with other approaches. Furthermore, mindSHIFT uses Internap’s® Performance IP™ technology to provide stable, predictable Internet performance, which enhances employee productivity by preventing the lag time, or latency, which is typical of other hosted solutions. With this technology, emails and other data are routed via the fastest network based on a proactive, real-time analysis of Internet traffic and bottlenecks.

mindSHIFT manages nearly 80,000 mailboxes and 20,000 desktops for professional workers in small and mid-sized organizations. A team of 385 employees provides IT support and IT services to more than 10,000 organizations in more than 100 countries. 

For $39.99 per user per month, NextDesktop includes the following features:

  • Access to office desktop from everywhere, all the time
  • Choice of Office applications for productivity options:
    • OpenOffice: Writer, Calc, Impress, Draw, and Base
    • Microsoft Office 2007: Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook (an additional $9.99/seat/month)
  • Data and applications, including Windows, running in mindSHIFT’s 24x7x365 Tier 4 data center 
  • Effective management of lag time with Internap® Performance IP™ to decrease latency 
  • Instant Office feature - Web-based control panel for immediate setup of new users and services by authorized administrative user
  • PDF creator and Adobe Reader
  • 1 GB of disk space for each user to store documents
  • Daily backup of all data
  • Real-time anti-virus and anti-spyware updates from Trend Micro
  • Live U.S.-based Help Desk via telephone and email
  • Timely, transparent software patches and updates
  • Month-to-month contract

Available upgrades include Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 email; BlackBerry, iPhone and other smartphone synchronization to Outlook email, calendar and tasks; email archiving; SharePoint; and Microsoft Dynamics CRM.

Published Tuesday, September 29, 2009 6:12 PM by David Marshall
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